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Newspapers in Education supplies tools for teaching

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Every school year, the Roswell Daily Record and the Roswell Independent School District collaborate on Newspapers in Education to use the newspaper as a tool for instruction in area classrooms. As the school year starts, so does the RDR NIE program.

The newspaper provides copies to the schools, free of charge, for use in any classroom. There is no charge to any school for using the newspapers. Currently, the program is mostly funded through the “Roswell Daily Record” and we are always looking for sponsors for the program. Students use our newspaper as a meaningful resource for learning.

The NIE program varies according to the needs of our educational community and how it is used in the classrooms. It is a very flexible program. A middle school classroom might use the newspaper in a math class calculating percentages while an elementary classroom might use NIE newspapers for a social studies project, exploring the history of Roswell and Chaves County through one of our many articles on the topic. Our newspaper is used as an instructional tool in many subjects and grade levels around town with both public and private education. Typically, most teachers use NIE with a focus on language arts, reading, social studies, math and science. NIE programs are used throughout grade levels in elementary, middle or high school settings.

The goal of our NIE program is to use the newspaper to help teachers with the subjects they are already teaching. It is not intended to simply teach about the newspaper, although it can be used for that also. A good NIE program helps teachers learn to develop their own activities using the newspaper to teach in any classroom.

NIE programs offer many benefits. NIE builds readership and reading skills: Building readership through the NIE program is a result of sending newspapers to the school. Several studies have shown that children and/or adults who regularly read a newspaper demonstrate significant gains in reading skills. A study conducted by the NAA Foundation showed that students who use newspapers might score significantly higher on standardized tests than students who do not read the newspaper.

Newspaper advertisers also love it when a shopper tells them they saw their product in a newspaper advertisement. Our community appreciates those who show an interest in the education, health and safety of their children. NIE can help children in all of those areas.

There is no substitute for a newspaper. Television, radio and the internet can give the news quickly. Understanding the news usually comes, however, with the longer, more thoughtful appraisal of facts and details found only in newspapers. Younger readers quickly learn that a newspaper is more than news. It is feature articles that tell them of interesting people and activities in the community as well.

NIE also builds community goodwill. The positive benefits for our newspaper to help improve local education. By placing our newspaper in classrooms, we are giving teachers the opportunity to use the most up-to-date textbook on the market. The closer to home a story is, the more motivation there is to read that story. A student in Roswell is more apt to find his or her name in the Roswell Daily Record than in a larger regional daily newspaper.

Our newspaper covers our students’ community, not the whole world. Community news is important to the functioning of our democracy because most citizen involvement occurs at the local level. The community newspaper is geographically closer to its reading audience and it is also easily accessible for plant tours by students because we have our own printing facility and always have, since before the turn of the century.

Not many newspapers have their own press anymore, as they are now much harder to find. Tours of our newspaper facilities are a popular activity for Roswell students. Many of our students also enjoy NIE newspapers because they can relate to local sports coverage or might know someone who writes for our Millennial Voices teen column or for the “Juniors and Seniors” page.

Teachers, please send in photos of your children’s school events or photos of their volunteer efforts throughout the year to be spotlighted on the “Juniors and Seniors” page. There are also writing opportunities available for teen writers. For more information, contact Misty Choy at m.editor@rdrnews.com

NIE is a benefit to schools and the community. Please take the time to consider reading a newspaper and supporting NIE and students this school year.

Barbara Beck is publisher of the Roswell Daily. She has a Master’s degree in Education, graduating with honors, and taught for 11 years in elementary, middle school and community college.